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Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities

by Gail Z. Martin

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Cassidy runs a little antique/pawn shop in Charleston – but few of her patrons know her true job: finding cursed, haunted or otherwise dangerous magical items and taking them off the market. It’s a mission her family has had for a long time, aided and guided by the vampire, Sorren and her employee Teag

With a job description like that, the weird and the odd are pretty much bread and butter. But when some perfectly normal (or, at least, not too harmful) artefacts start to become suddenly dangerous and haunted, there’s clearly something new in the city. Something dangerous. And who else is going to clean it up before worse follows?

This book has a fun concept. A family running a pawn/antique shop whose role is to find dangerous magical artefacts and take them out of circulation. It’s a very fun idea and it really works with Cassidy, the main character, psychometry. Being able to read objects is a perfect fix. I also quite like how they’ve managed to make that useful ability a powerful, dangerous one (albeit a little convenient, story-wise, since it allows her to pull any kind of magical mcguffin she needs) with some really nice ways of working

One of the common tropes I’ve found with magical female protagonists, if they’re not an outright kick arse combat monster weapon, they tend to have magical abilities which are more utility based than battle based. Either they’re all powerful combat gods, or useful tools and rely on other people to protect and fight for them (and, frequently, rescue them over and over). So a character who is both capable of fighting and protecting herself without being the toughest most dangerous weapon evah with awesome killy powers. I appreciate that balance

I also like the world building – groups of people, supernaturals (including a vampire) trying to stop all kinds of supernatural chaos and carnage being unleashed and, inevitably, the big baddy group of selfish power hungry individuals who are naturally wanting to do nasty naughty things. What I like about these very very standard elements is the lack of organisation. The ad hoc, loose collection of both entities rather than some grand secret society that we so often see. It feels… more real to me.

The world and the concept is excellent.

All of it comes with a lot of fun action, excellent battles and nice capability from everyone. All the characters bounce off each other very well - Cassidy and Sorren and Teag and they work as an excellent team. I really like their story and would happily see them in more shenanigans in future.

So why didn’t I love this book? Because it feels… flabby. Flabby and slow, terribly slow and it feels like it drags for a long time. The whole pacing of the book feels off. Part of this is how the mystery is revealed

About the middle of the book we pretty much learn, well, everything. Even in the beginning we learn a fair amount pretty quickly. We learn that there’s a demon doing scary things which is leading to lots of ghostly shenanigans. We learn pretty quickly about the big dark scary demon summoners both past and present, we get an idea of what is happening and where and how it’s all connected really quickly. The location, the smuggled demonic artefacts, the general shenanigans caused by dark magic, shadow people and angry ghosts – we learn it all really quickly.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Mar 1, 2016 |
I found this one very interesting and would love to read more in this world.

Cassidy Kincade owns an antique shop and some of the antiques that pass through her hands stop with her. She's a psychometrist and anything that has too much of a residue is passed on to Sorren, a 500 year old vampire who has been associated with the business for many years. Working with her is Teag who has some magical powers of his own and a long-term relationship with someone else.

And that was one of the things I really liked about this, there was no shoehorned in romance between main characters just because. Refreshing in the Urban Fantasy genre.

When I started I could barely put it down. I really enjoyed Cassidy finding out what was going on in her part of the world. It made me want to read more in this series. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Apr 22, 2015 |
Cassidy is the owner of Trifles and Folly, an antique and collectibles store Charleston, SC. But more is going on there than meets the eye. Cassidy and her partners are tasked with finding dangerous magical items and keeping them away from the public. It helps that Cassidy is a sensitive and her partner is a 500 year old vampire. But this time they are up against a demon and they are going to need all the help they can get.

Well, ghosts, vampires, antiques and Charleston. Yep, right up my street. I really liked this book with its look at Charleston history, real and imagined. I also like the story line which reminds me of that old tv show, Friday the 13th. The characters in the book are well developed and I felt that I knew them by the end of the book. Cassidy did make me a bit annoyed a couple of times but to me that just shows that she was believable. There was lots of action that in some ways reminded me of The Dresden Files, not sure why. There are some related short stories that I plan to read that all precede this book. But I really want to read more about Cassidy and company. ( )
  TheLibraryhag | Jan 16, 2015 |
The first book in a new urban fantasy series that at first glance seems to remind me of the premise of Friday the 13th: The Series. The book is based in Charleston, SC and the city does very much feel fleshed out and a part of the story. Cassidy owns an antique store that has been in her family for generations. The store has a silent partner that is a vampire that hunts down dangerous artifacts. Cassidy can tell the history of an object by touch alone and her employee/friend Teag has an interesting power that he can gather information magically. The three of then work for a loosely affiliated group of supernaturals and humans with magical powers that try to keep evil objects out of the hands of people and supernaturals that want to use them for their own ends. Good world building and the huge plus for me is there is no romance building the background between the characters. I'll be looking for more books in this series.

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
Deadly Curiosities is the full length introduction to a new urban fantasy series by Gail Z. Martin, preceded by seven related short stories self published by the author.

Cassidy Kincaide is the owner of Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina. Cassidy inherited the family business, in operation since 1670, upon her uncle's death, finally learning of the family secret and the truth about her own unique skill with psychometry - the ability to know the history associated with an object by touch. Her gift allows Cassidy, with the help of her 500 year old business partner, Sorren, to assist The Alliance - a group of mortals and paranormal beings, in identifying and removing dangerous items harbouring supernatural power from public circulation. In Deadly Curiosities, antiques previously assessed as inert are suddenly creating problems for their new owners. It's up to Cassidy, along with friend and colleague Teag, to determine the cause of the black magic igniting Charleston' deadly history and put a stop to it.

I was excited by the premise of Deadly Curiosities, and I still think the concept is strong, but the style of the narrative didn't quite work for me. I struggled with the incidences of repetition, not only in the information presented, but Martin's tendency to state and then restate lines. I also felt the way in which Cassidy's visions were presented, in the past tense with Cassidy as an observer, dampened the sense of immediacy and gave the narrative a somewhat disjointed feel.

I do think there is real potential in the characters for Martin to develop an interesting cast. Cassidy is likeable, and her talent is interesting though I didn't feel like I learned much about her outside of what she is capable of. I was quite intrigued by Teag's abilities as a 'weaver' that not only gives him in an infinity for traditional materials such as fabric and knots but also the world wide web. Sorren is a bit of an enigma however I've since learned that his character is established in the short stories prequels.

I really liked the atmospheric setting, Deadly Curiosities is set in Charleston, a town rich in history, which Martin exploits to good effect, though I have to admit I have no idea how much of what is presented is actually based on truth.

Overall I would have to judge Deadly Curiosities as an 'okay' read for me, though I can see, in the story and characters, the potential. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jun 28, 2014 |
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"Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670 - acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It's the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it's time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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